Hogs make most of cancellation, have practice day in Charlotte

By: Matt Jones
Published: March 20, 2018 at 2:38 p.m. - Updated: March 20, 2018 at 6:21 p.m.
Arkansas pitching coach Wes Johnson watches practice Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2017, in Fayetteville.
Photo by Ben Goff
Arkansas pitching coach Wes Johnson watches practice Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2017, in Fayetteville.

— Arkansas' game at Charlotte scheduled for 6 p.m. tonight was canceled because of expected poor weather, but that didn't stop the team from making the most of a cloudy afternoon.

The No. 4 Razorbacks used the unexpected off day to practice for nearly two hours at BB&T Ballpark, the home of the Charlotte Knights, a Class AAA affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. The team will spend some time tonight at a mall.

"Today was really good as far as getting some guys out on the field who will see some action tomorrow," Arkansas pitching coach Wes Johnson said. "Normally it's get here and get going, but it was good today. I know Coach (Nate) Thompson and Coach (Dave) Van Horn had the hitters and they were doing all kinds of stuff."

The Razorbacks and 49ers are scheduled to play Wednesday at 3 p.m. Today's canceled game is not expected to be made up. This is the first cancellation this season for Arkansas (16-4).

According to the National Weather Service, there is a 70 percent chance of rain tonight in Charlotte ahead of a cold front. Wednesday's forecast for Charlotte has improved in the past 24 hours and now calls for cloudy and cold conditions, with a high of 48 degrees.

Wednesday's game will be played at Hayes Stadium on the 49ers' campus. Tonight's game was scheduled to be played at the minor league ballpark in downtown Charlotte.

Johnson said Barrett Loseke (0-0, 11.25 ERA in 4 innings) will start Wednesday's game. Loseke, a junior right-hander, was scheduled to start tonight's game, but now likely will be on a low pitch count as Arkansas looks to throw several pitchers in its only midweek game.

"We'll have to script it out a little bit tomorrow," Johnson said. "We need to get some guys some work.

"We need to keep some guys fresh. Those relievers like (Jake) Reindl and (Matt) Cronin need to throw. You want to try to get them an inning if at all possible."

Charlotte (11-8) is expected to start junior right-hander Chase Gooding (2-0, 2.77 ERA in 13 innings).

Johnson said freshman right-hander Jackson Rutledge made the trip and is expected to throw this week after being held off the active roster for the Kentucky series last weekend. Rutledge, who has thrown 6 1/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen, has not pitched since a game against Southern Cal on March 4 while rehabbing arm soreness.

Keaton McKinney did not make the trip this week, Johnson said, meaning he won't be available for the Florida series that begins Friday in Gainesville, Fla. McKinney, who underwent Tommy John surgery last year, has not pitched since the opening weekend of the season because of discomfort in his elbow.

"He threw a really good bullpen Saturday," Johnson said. "When we get back on Monday...he'll throw a heavy pen and we'll just see where he's at."


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